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Larry Fitzgerald reveals motivation for returning in 2017

Jesse Reed

The Arizona Cardinals and their fans happily ate up the news that Larry Fitzgerald will play again in 2017, a decision the receiver came to while watching other teams play in January.

The moment he realized he wasn’t ready to hang up the cleats came while he watched the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers compete for the chance to play in the NFC Championship Game. Fitzgerald said he felt “the fire was burning,” per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republicadding “If I was completely detached from it, I wouldn’t have cared. It wouldn’t have meant anything for me.”

“I’m a year removed from being in a game like this, that’s competitive,” Fitzgerald said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “I got David Johnson. I got Patrick Peterson. I got Tyrann Mathieu, Chandler Jones.All these super-talented guys coming back on this team. I can’t go out on 7-8-1. That’s not how I want to do it. With the combination of those, and my body feeling much, much better now, is probably what made me feel the way I do.”

It’s yet to be determined if Fitzgerald will be joined by quarterback Carson Palmer in returning for at least one more season. That said, there have been reports that Palmer will come back, and head coach Bruce Arians thinks the decision to return will be announce soon (more on that here).

This past season was one full of disappointment for the Cardinals, who were picked by many to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LI. Instead, they went 7-8-1, missing the playoffs altogether.

A team with tremendous talent on both sides of the ball, there is no reason why the Cardinals can’t bounce back with a big 2017 campaign, especially with Fitzgerald back in the mix. He’s one of the game’s all-time greats and is a respected leader in the locker room.

And clearly, the fire still burns hot in Fitzgerald’s belly to make one more push for a Lombardi Trophy.